HANOI CRAZY

After the peace and quiet of Sa Pa the 9 hour night train jolted us back into the non stop chaos of Hanoi. Twenty four hour markets, swarms of bicycles and motor bikes, endless street food, fruit and flower vendors, people selling post cards, hats, cold water, warm beer, you name it someone on the streets of Hanoi sells it. It seems like the population of 7 million people rarely sleep and are all on the move at the same time.© John Lovett 2015
Man caught napping

© John Lovett 2015
Blending Traffic, Hanoi roundabout

© John Lovett 2015
Fruit vendor and Bicycle.

© John Lovett 2015
To cross a street in Hanoi you simply walk slowly out into this swarming horde and somehow they all part around you.

© John Lovett 2015
Cruising the backstreets

© John Lovett 2015
Low Speed Delivery

© John Lovett 2015
High speed delivery

© John Lovett 2015Meat Delivery

© John Lovett 2015
Joyride in a Jeep

© John Lovett 2015
Non stop wholesale markets.

© John Lovett 2015
Any color, any texture, any thickness, any size.

© John Lovett 2015
Loading and unloading zone
© John Lovett 2015
Late afternoon shopping.

© John Lovett 2015
Old town Hanoi

© John Lovett 2015
View through Wire.

© John Lovett 2015
How not to loose your bike.

© John Lovett 2015
Flower Market

© John Lovett 2015
Any color, any size, any fabric, any style© John Lovett 2015
Hanoi Fog

© John Lovett 2015
Railway at your doorstep.

LAKE COMO

Lake Como is a long V shaped lake set among steep, mist covered mountains in Northern Italy.

It is fringed with small villages accessed by a winding maze of roads or a busy network of ferries.

The town of Como is the main Ferry hub and has a Funicular railway to the village above.  The views from the mountains are spectacular and from the water the lake takes on a mysterious, fairytale quality with imposing villas and castles and small picturesque villages set at the bottom of steep, dramatic mountains.

 

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Como

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Varenna

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Italians love anything that goes fast. Lake Como host boat races that see speeds of 130kph. These guys came a proud third.

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Menaggio

Painting at Menaggio

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Como Funicular

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All the colored mechanical bits that pull the carriage up the hill.

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View of Como from the ascending funicular.

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THE PILBARA

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The Pilbara region in the northern half of WA  not only contains some of the countrys most beautiful scenery, but also generates the bulk of Australias foreign income. Tens of millions of dollars worth of iron ore, oil, gas and salt are shipped out of this area every day. The major towns of Port Hedland, Dampier, Karratha, and the mining towns of Tom Price and Newman are prosperous and incredibly busy.

Newman mines run 24 hours a day, the average wage of a mine worker is around $150,000/ year. They work a 12 hour shift, night shift one week, day shift the next week then the third week off. Food, accommodation, work clothes and equipment is all provided by the company.

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Huge trains, over 2 kilometers long , run constantly back and forth between the coast and the mines.

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Catching one of these trains at a crossing sure gives you plenty of time to stop and take a photograph.

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The little town of Port Hedland has an incredibly busy port, with a constant string of ships waiting at sea to come in and load.

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The whole town is coated in a fine red dust from the iron ore loading. Even the concrete shipping tower, high above the town, is stained iron ore red.

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It was disappointing to learn that the mountains of salt shipped out of Dampier and Port Hedland don’t find their way into little paper sachets to sprinkle on fish and chips.

Dampier Salt (owned by Rio Tinto) is the largest salt exporter in the world, selling mainly to the industrial chemical markets in Asia. It’s hard to imagine 5 million tons of salt being shipped across to Asia each year. It’s even harder to believe it has nothing to do with the salty taste of Asian food.

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A fine piece of installation art on the salt flats outside Dampier.

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Remains of old sheep station out camp near Wittenoom – corrugated iron at its best

SNAKE IN THE GRASS

ADELAIDE RIVER

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We decided to camp at the Adelaide River Race Track before heading up to Darwin. The sun was setting and a few whispy clouds were catching the last bit of light.

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I climbed the judges tower to take some photographs. When I climbed down there was a snake  at the foot of the tower, arched up and snapping at me. I jumped back and he dissapeared into the grass. I couldn’t believe it – after hours of carefully picking my way through spinifex and speargrass the day before and not seeing a snake, to be bailed up by one here  was amazing.

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I snapped a blurry shot of him in the fading light with a wide angle lens as he slithered into the grass.

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Four furlong bend from the top of the tower.

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Last light as the sun went down

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Next morning I walked over to the railway yard and couldn’t believe my luck. Someone had parked a yellow steam roller next to a purple railway carriage!

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TRAINS

There are some great old steam trains, pensioned off and parked in railway stations throughout Queensland. This one in Mareeba was loaded with coal and appeared to be still in working order.
Every Sunday they fire up this old engine. Everything had a thick coat of grease and from meters away there was a strong smell of heavy gear oil.
Every part of these old engines looks to be built to last forever.
The old steam trains look pretty impressive, but this famous old train , the Gulflander, looks plain weird – like a cross between a train and an old Morris van. It does a regular run between Croydon and Normanton in the Gulf. Its baby brother looks even weirder

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There are some great old steam trains, pensioned off and parked in railway stations throughout Queensland. This one in Mareeba was loaded with coal and appeared to be still in working order.

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Every Sunday they fire up this old engine. Everything had a thick coat of grease and from meters away there was a strong smell of heavy gear oil.

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Every part of these old engines looks to be built to last forever.

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The old steam trains look pretty impressive, but this famous old train , the Gulflander, looks plain weird – like a cross between a train and an old Morris van. It does a regular run between Croydon and Normanton in the Gulf. Its baby brother looks even weirder

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Nothing cute about this baby.